The Villages’ own Megan Boone got her hit television show in September 2013, and before long, it appeared that the 36-year-old former Belleview High School student was doing her best to distance herself from Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
Boone’s show, “The Blacklist” also stars veteran actor James Spader. The granddaughter of late Villagers Developer H. Gary Morse and daughter of Jennifer Parr, director of sales and marketing for The Villages, plays FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen alongside Spader’s character, Raymond “Red” Reddington, a traitor who turns himself into the FBI and will only work with Boone’s character.
Boone, who also had appeared in “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” “My Bloody Valentine 3D,” “Sex and the City 2” and “Step Up Revolution,” in 2010 directed the independent film “Eggshells for Soil,” portions of which were shot in The Villages.
The graduate of Florida State University’s School of Theatre, seemed to quickly enjoy her newfound fame. In October 2013, Boone appeared in Esquire magazine, following being featured in People Magazine’s “One to Watch” column.
That same month, she was among the nominees in the 2014 People’s Choice Awards. Not surprisingly, Villagers and employees of the mega-retirement community were encouraged multiple times to go online and cast votes for her – over and over again.
In February 2014, it was announced that Boone would receive the Rising Star Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design. And the following month, it was revealed that her show was shooting an episode in Tribeca, a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.
In September 2014, Villagers got a glimpse of Boone they didn’t expect to see when she made a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. During the interview, Boone seemed almost uncomfortable as she tried to steer the conversation away from The Villages. Some residents – they had been encouraged to watch Boone in the Developer-owned media – reported feeling as if she was shunning the very community that had raised her.
In the interview, Fallon did what he normally does by falling all over himself as he told Boone what a great actress she was. He asked about her childhood in a “retirement community” and later teased her for her love of shuffleboard – a moment that clearly showed how uncomfortable she was being tied to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
In November 2015, Boone took to Instagram to announce that she and boyfriend Dan Estabrook were expecting their first child. Two months later, she revealed she was going to have a daughter on “Live! With Kelly and Michael.”
“The coolest thing about pregnancy for me is that your body just craves what it wants and then also you can kind of be like ‘I’m going to eat this because I’m pregnant,’” she told the co-hosts.
In April 2016, Boone’s daughter, Caroline, was born and she posted a photo of the child’s foot on Instagram. And the following month she made a brief appearance in The Villages when she appeared uncomfortable onstage with her family members during her the annual “Evening with the Developer” at The Sharon.
A month later, clearly no longer in The Villages, Boone got political on Twitter – something she would do often until recently shutting down her account – a decision that many assumed was driven by family pressure.
Meanwhile, in her June 2016 Twitter post a day after the mass shooting the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Boone tweeted about gun legislation that was rejected in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings in December 2015. “I mean, how the hell did THIS happen?!” she wrote, attaching a link to the U.S. Senate roll call votes, implying disagreement with the outcome and clearly many of her relatives in The Villages who are huge gun advocates, including her uncle, Mark Morse, and her cousin, Kelsea Manly Morse, who both got into hot water several years ago in Montana over hunting violations.
From that point on, Boone seemed to be almost addicted to Twitter. Some of her posts included:
- In July 2016, she posted a video of her working out to get in shape for the new season of “The Blacklist.”
- In September 2016, she took her followers on a trip down memory lane through her first seven jobs, one of which included one day as a server at a restaurant in a bowling alley, presumably in The Villages.
- In January 2017, she announced the launch of an environmentally friendly line of baby clothing.
- In July 2017, she seemed to take a liberal slant on Twitter – many of her Villages relatives are staunch Republicans, including her late grandfather, who was one of President George W. Bush’s biggest financial supporters – when she spoke out about the EPA and water. That tweet followed others about the Moms Clean Air Force, who were demonstrating on the topic of climate change, and the Flint, Mich. water system tainted with lead.
- A month later, Boone was back on the Twitter bandwagon about climate change – again, a topic that wouldn’t be popular around the dinner table with her non-millennial Villages relatives.
- That same month, she was on Twitter weighing in on Hurricane Harvey. “I continue to be dismayed by #Harvey and hope we can come together with Texans in the #climate movement to halt this unnecessary suffering,” she wrote.
- In February 2018, as the gun debate raged on following the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Boone tweeted that her character on “The Blacklist” would never again carry an assault rifle on the show. “I am deeply sorry for participating in glorifying them in the past. Yours, girl from Florida,” she wrote in a post that then drew the ire of Villages-News.com reader Tom Wright in a Letter to the Editor.
- In October 2018, Boone also weighed in on the gubernatorial race in Florida, lending her support to Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who eventually lost to former Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis. Boone retweeted a message from Gillum that read: “There is no corporate profit worth allowing our air and water to be polluted. This planet belongs to all of us.” And she added, “Floridians love you for this Andrew!!!”
- Boone followed that October post up with a video backing Justin Kanew, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Tennessee. A political newcomer best known as a two-time contestant on “The Amazing Race,” Kanew spent more than a decade in the entertainment industry as a writer/producer of everything from digital content to feature films.
- And finally, in one of her final tweets – one that clearly had to anger her Villages family members – Boone attempted to use her celebrity status to try to influence the ballot recounts in Florida. She retweeted a story from the progressive news magazine AlterNet under the heading, “Rick Scott Freaks Out, Accuses Liberals of Trying to Steal Election by Counting Everyone’s Votes.” Boone’s mother and uncle were huge supporters of the former governor and he made two key stops in The Villages during his successful bid to defeat longtime Democrat Bill Nelson in the November 2018 General Election.